How to Plant Crown Vetch

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If you're thinking about planting crown vetch, be sure that you have a large area away from other plantings because in a few short years, crown vetch is a ground cover that can become invasive and difficult to get rid of. However, the plant's ability to grow a sturdy root system makes it a good ground cover for areas that are prone to erosion. Crown vetch is also beneficial because it provides cover for birds that nest on the ground, and food for elk and deer.

  • Plant the crown vetch seeds in the spring. It's helpful if the soil can be worked first, but crown vetch will often grow by simply broadcasting it over the area, even over existing growth. It can be slow to start, taking up to two seasons to become established.

  • Keep the crown vetch well-watered during the first couple of growing seasons, especially if you live in a dry climate. Once the crown vetch is established, it's fairly drought resistant.

  • Clip the ground vetch once during the first growing season. This will control weeds while the seeds are getting established. After it reaches maturity, it can be grazed, or it can be mowed and used as hay.

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